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POP 2020 – Monitoring the Implementation of Social Contract in Local Level

The citizens often believe that politicians only approach them during elections, when they need their vote and rarely keep the promises made to their constituents. The citizens also have little knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of local government, making accountability to this institution more difficult. Often, citizens’ interests and needs are overshadowed by the highly politicized decision-making process that focuses less on the substance of representative democracy and more on personal and political interests and power. Strengthening democracy by fostering transparency and accountability of elected officials is what POP stands for. It is an attempt to increase spaces for public debates and citizen information related to policy platforms on the one hand and orienting these platforms towards the needs and priorities of the community on the other.

During 2019, the partner organizations of the POP network implemented the project “Përballja e Ofertave Politike” (Juxtaposing Political Offers) – 2019 (POP 2019)”.

The next initiative of the POP’s first phase aims to lobby and advocate for the fulfilment of the citizen priorities that were signed in the Social Contract for the municipalities of Tirana, Kamza, Durres, Fier, Vlore, Shkoder, Kukes, Puke and Pogradec and also to make sure the involvement of the community to the participatory decision making.

POP 2020 aim to:

  • Continue the work of the POP network monitoring and holding accountable the mayors and councils.
  • Lobby and Advocacy for the accomplishment of the social contract priorities for each municipality;
  • Continuing and improving the POP methodology for lobbing and advocating which strengthen the relationship between the CSOs in the network, between them and the political parties and increase the CSOs reputation in public.

The main components of POP 2020 are:

  • Network empowerment
  • Lobbying as a Network for Local Democracy Issues
  • Monitoring the Municipality Council meetings. Monitoring of municipal council meetings and municipal activity. The basic monitoring document are the priorities in the Social Contract.
  • Advocacy/Lobbying for the priorities identified during POP 2019 public forums with citizens to be fulfilled.
  • Media activities in collaboration with local journalists and media
  • Citizen feedback / rallies / statements.
  • Citizens’ Activities for their Legal Education based on the new Legal Education Strategy and Civic Engagement to attend consultative sessions in municipal / mayor meetings and staff.
  • Organize public activities in local level.

Main target groups

  • Citizens of Tirana, Kamza, Durres, Fier, Vlore, Shkoder, Kukes, Puke and Pogradec.
  • Mayors, city councillors and their political parties. Our project will hold them accountable in their future management of the municipality through the online platform and through the pacts they have signed based on community priorities.
  • Media: lobbying and advocacy in the various media will make the POP 2020 initiative more visible to the public and beyond, to focus in detail on each of the community’s priorities in the respective municipalities.
  • Community as well will be informed about the POP 20190-2020 online platforms and will be invited to follow the platform and social media dedicated to the project.
  • CSOs in all the municipalities as our allies will work and support our initiative for the fulfilment of priorities for the communities.

This initiative is supported by the Olof Palme International Center, with funding from the Swedish Embassy in Tirana and the National Endowment for Democracy.

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POP 2019 –Juxtaposing Political Offers

Përballja e Ofertave Politike – POP 2019, is an initiative of the network of 9 organizations of the Albanian civil society in the framework of the upcoming local elections of June 30, 2019.

POP 2019 aims to increase public debate and information among citizens on electoral platforms of parties and candidates for mayors, as well as orienting these platforms towards the needs and priorities of citizens. Through its activities, the project aims to strengthen Albanian democracy, promoting transparency and accountability during elections and the period after them.

POP has been successfully implemented during the 2013 Parliamentary Elections, the 2015 Local Elections and the 2017 Parliamentary Elections. This initiative has been and is supported by the Olof Palme International Center, funded by the Swedish Embassy in Tirana.

POP 2019 will be organized in the municipalities of Durres, Fier, Kamez, Kukes, Pogradec, Puke, Shkoder, Tirana and Vlore where the network organizations exercise their activity.

 

POP 2019 aims to:

  • POP 2019 aims to bring dialogue between constituents and candidates, but also between candidates themselves. POP 2019 will serve as a platform for discussion, whereby candidates will be held accountable to their promises and will be invited to sign the social contract between them and the citizens in a town hall format forum.
  • Through the tools of legal advocacy/lobbying the network will strive to achieve results, ensuring that the pacts are not merely a written pledge, but an actionable engagement for future elected mayors.
  • POP 2019 will aim to keep an informed and enlightened citizenry by using online technology as a tool to provide information to the public on the promises and priorities made and the work to fulfil them. Additionally the interactive website will offer Albanian citizens a much needed ideological glimpse of what political parties offer. This is a much needed discussion in the Albanian political and public sphere as most discussions revolve around those involved in politics rather than their ideas and ideological positions on issues such as the economy, taxes, social welfare and others.
  • POP 2019 will aim to increase both transparency and accountability of candidates for elected officials. Frequent studies have shown that Albanian citizens feel that politicians are only interested in their own wellbeing and interests and care about them only during election periods.

At the center of all POP 2019 activities will be the citizens with their needs and concerns, as the shift of public debate from politics to political platforms in the pre-election period is important. POP 2019 is an opportunity for political parties to present their programs to show how much they will care for citizens in the next four years. The promises of the political parties and their programs will be monitored after the 2019 Local Elections by the Network of POP organizations and the groups of citizens that will be organized by this network.

POP network aims to increase public debate and information among citizens as well as orient the platforms towards their needs and priorities. Through its activities, the project aims to strengthen Albanian democracy, promoting transparency and accountability.

  • Gender Alliance for Development Center (GADC), Tirana • Civil Society Development Center (CSDC), Durres •Vlora Youth Center •Association for Integration of Informal Areas (AIIA), Kamëz •Youth Center “New Epoch”, Fier •Young Intellectuals, Hope (IRSH), Shkodër •Youth Movement for Democracy Center, Pukë •Center for Youth Progress (CYP), Kukës •Youth For Integration, Activation and Awareness (YIAA), Progradec